My fiance found this article about a week ago, and we’ve been discussing it for a while. Basically, it talks about how there are some pedophiles who are calling for sexual “rights”, on the basis that if homosexuality is a sexual orientation, then so is pedophilia, and pedophiles ought to be entitled to the same rights. I tend toward the conservative side, but I’m pretty sure most of my friends – gay or straight – would agree with me that the argument is ridiculous. The thing that bothers me about the article, however, is that it doesn’t seem to be written for the purpose of informing or even inspiring the public to action; the main point seems to be scaring the reader into being afraid of their own society. It’s written from a perspective of “Well, doomsday’s here.” The very fact that the article is entitled, “It Begins…” makes me wonder, “What begins?” And whatever “begins” with legalizing pedophilia certainly makes me look forward to the future of my children not one bit.
I’m getting married in a week. (Yes, I’m excited!) And we want kids. A strong family is really important to both of us, and that includes raising our children to be thoughtful, intelligent, and moral people. It also entails protecting those children from harm. Which means it’s a little off-setting sometimes when people remind us that the world is “getting scary”.
But what does that actually mean? From a Mormon perspective, we frequently hear that we’re living in “an increasingly wicked world”. And in religious terms, that means that the world no longer follows the commandments of God. (Read about Moses lately? Look up the 10 commandments. Seriously. Not followed.) Back in the old days, life was good and everybody took care of each other and nobody hurt anybody. So, from a religious standpoint, it looks like the end of the world must be near, because we’re at apocalyptic levels of wickedness.
Except that, in Old Testament times, people were still killed and cursed and raped and robbed and sometimes even sacrificed to idols. Cain killed his brother within two generation of human society. Jesus himself was killed – by the chosen people of the Lord. The world has never been pretty.
Now, lest you should think that I’m here to spread doom and gloom, let me tell you why I’m not scared. Because the world has never been pretty. People have always hurt people. People have always done stupid things. And guess what? I turned out okay. My husband-to-be turned out okay. My parents and his parents and our siblings and a whole lot of family and people we know turned out okay. And not just okay – I know some phenomenal people, who are amazing examples of upright citizenship! And a lot of those phenomenal people grew up in rough circumstances or poor homes or bad neighborhoods or what-have-you. People will always do stupid things. But just because people now do stupid things differently from people then doesn’t mean I need to be scared that my unborn children have no future. I intend to teach my children not to be stupid.
Will they still do some stupid things? Of course they will! When I was in middle school, I locked myself in my own locker, just to see if I would fit. (I did.) Was that intelligent? Of course not! But as long as my children know how to stand up for what’s right and fix their mistakes along the way, they’re going to be just fine. I had friends in grade school who drank and smoked. I didn’t. That’s what I chose. I knew people who slept around. I didn’t. I chose that. So why do people keep telling me that the world around me is going to decide who my children become? Nobody can choose that except my children. My husband and I are going to teach our kids how to tell what’s right. And then we’re going to let them live. And while we’re going to encourage them to be careful out there, we’re not going to teach them that the world is a horrible, scary place where they’re going to get hurt. We”ll teach them how to pick themselves up and dust themselves off and keep going. In the words of Kid President: “It’s everybody’s duty to give the world a reason to dance.”
In an “increasingly wicked world”, I introduce a remedy: an increasingly awesome child. Teach a child they can do it, and they’ll prove you right. ♦